Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Cost of Regulation

In ancient Athens, a lawmaker was held personally responsible for the results of any legislation he proposed. If his ideas turned our badly, he could be fined, imprisoned, or even executed.

Now that's accountability. It's what they meant in ancient Athens when they talked about "an inconvenient truth."

In modern Washington, there is a somewhat less enthusiastic effort to make lawmakers and government agencies accountable for the costs of implementing their proposed regulations. Businesses have run cost/benefit analyses for years, but in Washington, the idea of being held responsible is about as popular as uncensored speech on a college campus. No wonder. It's much easier to make up laws and regulations if you never have to worry about costs or benefits.

Check out what the Washington Post says.

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